Kia ora, ko Makere Lee toku ingoa
He hoia ahau i roto i te ope o Ngati Tumatauenga
Kia Ora everybody, my name is Corporal Lee and I am a chef in the New Zealand Army.
So basically I manage and look after up to ten people…
…and also providing high quality meals for our soldiers.
I’m the oldest of six children, and my parents
always worked so I had to learn how to cook
pretty early on to provide for my younger
brothers and sisters.
So if you follow me through you can see what
goes on behind the scenes in the mess.
You see intermediate qualified chefs here
working hard getting a carbonara meal prepared.
This area here is our bakery area so we’ve
got some delicious burger buns made over here
– we got our bakery guys rolling biscuits
And we’ve got some chicken curry slowly simmering
So it’s basically just cooking in a bulk environment.
We cater for up to twenty field exercises
a year, ranging from twenty people all the
way up to a couple of hundred – even a couple
Over here we have the tactical field kitchen.
The Karcher is also being used for when we
had the earthquake in 2011, and also when
we had the earthquake in Kaikoura.
So, it’s just a fantastic mobile field kitchen
and you can basically do anything you want
So some of my hobbies outside of the Defence
Force; I enjoy music, so I play the piano.
I’m doing my Grade 2 this year.
I also like taking my dog Hunter for a walk
and just being out in nature.
I was able to deploy to Afghanistan as a Chef,
so I cooked over there for six months for
two hundred soldiers.
But the biggest highlight of my catering career
has got to be this: it’s a national cooking
competition where twelve training institutes
battle it out to be the overall winners.
In 2009 I completed the Assistant Physical
Trainer’s course or the APTI’s course.
And now I’m very lucky and fortunate enough
to be able to transition from caterer to a
So that is my new passion.
I just love helping people achieve their fitness
goals, basically just having more confidence
and belief in themselves that they can do
what they put their mind to!
Well, for the perks of being in the Defence
Force there are so many…
So my ability to travel around.
Also the fact of being able to become a qualified
chef and not having any bills after I’ve become
You get free dental and free medical, you
just meet some awesome people and build strong
I just love the Defence Force, I think it’s
Doing something different every day, teamwork
and being a role model are my three passions
– choose yours below to find the career that